Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mae Thomas has stated that the government is committed to improving not only the living conditions in the prisons but also promoting the rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners.
The Permanent Secretary made the statement during her visit to the Camp Street and Timehri prisons on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
Thomas was accompanied by a team of technical and administrative support staff from the Ministry of Home Affairs along with Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot; Deputy Director of Prions, Kevin Pilgrim; Finance Officer, Mark Smith; and Technical Officer, Afelete Cummings. They all had a first-hand assessment of the conditions of the various facilities.
The Permanent Secretary during her interaction with some of the inmates, assured them that the government will continue to invest significantly in their wellbeing.
To this end, over $5 billion is been spent to construct new state-of-the-art buildings at Mazaruni and Lusignan Prison locations.
At Lusignan, the three facilities will soon be operationalized to accommodate prisoners.
Meanwhile, according to Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot, the new facilities will improve security, welfare and accommodation for prisoners. It will also aid in adequately separating prisoners based on their offence and length of sentence.
Additionally, the team also visited the kitchen where they sampled meals served to the inmates. At each location, inmates expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the meals.
However, several concerns were raised by inmates which attributed to the prolonged delays regarding the extensive waiting period for their trial by the judicial system.
Elliot then informed the inmates that he will meet with the relevant authorities shortly and share their concerns about the prevailing situation.
The team also visited the New Amsterdam and Lusignan Prisons before they were joined by the Permanent Secretary, who also visited the prison farm and Red Tilapia pond at the Timehri prison location.